SCT Conference 2021 - the Workshops

Conference Overview

We’ll be spanning many time zones in this virtual context so we refer to parts of the training day (or night depending where you are!) as “sessions.” For example, training groups are Session 1, workshops and Basics in SCT are Session 2, and large group is Session 3. There are some exceptions to this and we’ll make that clear on the registration form.

Times below shown in 24-hour clock format

  Session 1 Break Session 2 Break Session 3
  Sat & Sun:
Institute

Mon-Fri:
Experiential Training
  Sat & Sun:
Institute

Mon-Thu:
  • Workshops
  • Basics in SCT
  • Experiential Training
Fri:
SCT & Trauma Workshop
  Sat & Sun:
Institute

Mon-Thu:
Large Group
  2.0 hours 45 minutes 1.5 hours 45 minutes 1.0 hour
PT (US) 06:00-08:00 08:00-08:45 08:45–10:15 10:15-11:00 11:00-12:00
ET (US) 09:00-11:00 11:00-11:45 11:45-13:15 13:15-14:00 14:00-15:00
UK 13:00-15:00 15:00-15:45 15:45-17:15 17:15-18:00 18:00-19:00
EU 14:00-16:00 16:00-16:45 16:45-18:15 18:15-19:00 19:00-20:00
JST (JAPAN) 23:00-01:00 01:00-01:45 01:45-03:15 03:15-04:00 04:00-05:00
UTC 14:00-16:00 16:00-16:45 16:45-18:15 18:15-19:00 19:00-20:00

 

Pre-Conference Weekend Institute: Saturday and Sunday, Sessions 1, 2, 3
Choose one for the weekend (if you are attending the Institute or 7-day package)

  • Provides an excellent introduction to systems-centered training and an intensive training experience
  • Offers attendees at all levels of training an opportunity to learn about themselves, systems, and groups in the unique environment built through SCT techniques

Five-Day Conference
Choose one for each session (if you are attending the 5-day conference or 7-day package)

Session 1, Monday – Friday

  • Experiential training groups at the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels
  • Please note the prerequisite and/or application requirements for the Intermediate & Advanced level trainings

Session 2, Monday – Thursday

  • Workshops focused on applying Systems-Centered Theory and methods in various contexts
  • Basics in SCT groups focused on Foundation-level theory or skills
  • Experiential training groups at the Intermediate and Advanced levels
  • Please note the prerequisite and/or application requirements for the Intermediate & Advanced level trainings

Sessions 1 & 2, Monday – Friday

  • Intermediate Skills Training, Authority Issue Group, Advanced Training for Trainers, and 3-Year Group
  • These groups meet Friday for Session 1 only
  • Please note the prerequisite and/or application requirements for the Intermediate & Advanced level trainings

Session 2, Friday

  • Emerging theory workshop: Applying SCT Theory and Methods in Working with Trauma
  • Introduces leading edge theory and integrates it with experiential practice. This workshop wraps up the Conference for attendees and is also open to anyone as a stand-alone session
  • This workshop is 2 hours

Session 3, Monday – Thursday

  • Large Group Practicum that explores the conference experience using functional subgrouping

Pre-Conference Weekend Institute
Sessions 1, 2, 3 - Saturday and Sunday


100-I | Systems-Centered Foundation Training for Groups and Individuals

Trainer(s): Nina Klebanoff , Ed.M., LCSW, CGP ; Mike Maher, MA, PGCE

In this two-day experiential practicum, members learn to use SCT functional subgrouping and reduce defenses in a specific sequence to develop the system's capacity for solving problems and applying common sense to everyday conflicts.

Category: Institute
Track: General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels|Foundation Level
CE credits: 9.0
Format: Experiential, theory group
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the symptoms of anxiety and the skills to undo anxiety
  • Identify tension in the body, describe the function of tension and how to let go of tension
  • Discriminate between feelings coming from thoughts vs. feelings coming from the here-and-now direct experience
  • Use SCT methods to come into the present, work in the present, and modify defenses in the present context
  • Subgroup functionally by joining on similarities, rather than separating from and rejecting differences
  • Join and work with others in a functional subgroup, as opposed to working alone

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Systems-centered theory and practice: The contribution of Yvonne Agazarian (Edited by SCTRI.) Livermore, CA: WingSpan Press. Reprint (2011). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: A theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 36(1), 19-36.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered's functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today's Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

Presenters

Nina Klebanoff, Ed.M., LCSW, CGP. Nina Klebanoff, Ed.M., LCSW, CGP, has been in private practice for over forty years, working with individuals, groups, couples' groups and organizations. Nina leads an ongoing SCT training group, provides consultation and has presented at numerous conferences.

Mike Maher, MA, PGCE. Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, is a psychotherapist, trainer and organizational consultant. He is a Licensed SCT Practitioner and Director of SCTRI and leads three ongoing SCT training groups. He was Deputy Director in a Therapeutic Community and subsequently he has developed a specialism in working with staff who work with client groups - adolescents and adults - characterized by their challenging natures. He has written papers and book chapters in working with staff groups, organizational issues in mental health reform, managing self-harm behaviors and other subjects, and has presented at many national and international conferences.


102-I | Using Differences for Development in Organizations (FULLY BOOKED)

Trainer(s): Rowena Davis , MSc, Dott. in Sociologia ; Sven-Erik Viskari, BA, Licensed Psychologist

Like all living human systems, our natural response in organizations is to ignore, attack or convert differences. Here we will explore alternatives so we can listen to the information in differences. We will practice functional subgrouping and apply the interrelated Systems-Centered concepts of Role, Goal and Context, the map of Phases of Development and the force field to develop a problem-solving climate in our Institute learning system and apply them to our organizational roles. Places are limited so please sign up early!

Category: Institute
Track: Organizational|Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 9.0
Format: Didactic, group practicum, experiential
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the SCT notions of Role, Goal and Context in an organizational setting
  • Use the Person-as-a-System map to take up my functional role in an organization
  • Use the SCT functional subgrouping method as a tool to integrate differences, make decisions and plan
  • State the SCT theory underlying functional subgrouping
  • Practice reducing ambiguity, redundancy and contradictions in the communication system
  • Use the force field as a tool to identify behaviors that support or get in the way of goal achievement in a given context

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This institute will apply the theory and methods to participants’ organizational contexts.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Åkerlund, M. (2017). Leadership – a team process developed through context awareness. Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology, 9,(2), 6-18.

Davis, R. (2014). Working across organisational boundaries: Shifting from complaining and blaming to problem-solving. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 21(3), 22-37.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2007). Phases of system development in organizational work groups: The systems-centered approach for intervening in context. Organisational & Social Dynamics, 7(2), 253-291.

O’Neill, R.M., Murphy, V., Mogle, J., MacKenzie, M.J., MacGregor, K.L., Pearson, M., & Parekh, M. (2013). Are systems-centered teams more collaborative, productive and creative? Journal of Team Performance Management, 19(3/4), 201-221. doi: 10.1108/TPM-04-2012-0015

Presenters

Rowena Davis, MSc, Dott. in Sociologia. Rowena Davis, MSc, Dottore in Sociologia, is an organizational consultant working with public, private and not-for-profit organizations in the UK and internationally. Her work combines coaching individuals and teams; strategic marketing and planning; mapping systems; and running SCT and SAVI trainings in the US and Europe. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner, a certified SAVI trainer, a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board and a Director of SCT UK.

Sven-Erik Viskari, BA, Licensed Psychologist . Sven-Erik Viskari, BA, is a licensed psychologist and licensed psychotherapist. As a Senior Organizational Consultant, he mainly works with team building, group development and coaching of leaders and employees. As a clinician, he works with supervision in the Swedish public health care system. He is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and was a member of the Board of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute from 2006 to 2017. He has led workshops and SCT training groups at the annual SCT conferences since 2007 and also runs ongoing training groups in Stockholm, Sweden.


301-IC | Intermediate Skills Training

Trainer(s): Susan Beren , Ph.D. ; Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, SFHEA

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1

Intermediate skills training shifts focus from work with oneself to work with others. This intensive 7-day training introduces the SCT protocols with an emphasis on the theoretical context within which the protocol is used, and the actual steps in each technical skill that make up the protocol. Participants will record their practice of each skill and lead a small task group reviewing recorded sections in order to identify specific driving and restraining forces of their work.

By application to assess your readiness for this training (see link below). Send application to both Susan Beren and Madeline O'Carroll

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 31, 2021

Note: One of the leaders of your training group (or, if in unusual circumstances, you are not part of a training group, a system mentor) should be consulted as to your readiness for this training. This is the first of the core Intermediate SCT trainings.

Category: Institute
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|Education
Level: Intermediate Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Didactic, small group skills practice, recorded role plays & force field reviews
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate ability to introduce functional subgrouping to a group
  • Demonstrate ability to use SCT protocols for undoing distractions, anxiety, tension, depression, outrages, and role locks
  • Apply a basic understanding of the theoretical context for the use of SCT protocols
  • Create a force field to analyze what helps or hinders the application of protocols
  • Demonstrate ability to provide feedback based on facts, not opinions
  • Demonstrate ability to lead a small task group

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice.

This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107. doi: 10.1177/104649649903000105

Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9

Agazarian, Y.M., & Byram, C. (2009). First build the system: The systems-centered approach to combined psychotherapy. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 33(2), 129-148.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2003). Phases of group development: Systems-centered hypotheses and their implications for research and practice. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice, 7(3), 238-252. doi: 10.1037/1089-2699.7.3.238

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup 1), S60-S70 doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Susan Beren, Ph.D.. Susan Beren, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked in multiple city hospitals and been in private practice in New York City for the last 22 years, doing therapy with individuals, couples and groups and providing supervision and consultation. Susan has taught, done research on and co-authored several papers on the multiple causes and treatment of eating disorders and obesity. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Training practitioner.

Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, SFHEA. Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, is a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner who has worked in mental health for thirty years as an educator and clinician. Madeline has extensive experience of developing and delivering educational and training programmes. She has led therapy groups for people with psychosis, groups to support mental health nursing students process the impact of their work and SCT training groups in UK and USA. She is a Senior Lecturer at City, University of London and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


401-IC | Authority Issue Group

Trainer(s): Susan P. Gantt , Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA ; Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1
The weekend schedule for AIG & Observers is different from the schedule for other groups. The schedule will be sent by email.

This training is an ongoing event that confronts the hatred of authority, one’s own and others’. Alternating between training group practicum and review work, the program will focus on applying the Theory of Living Human Systems in exploring the issues of giving and taking authority. This training is by application only for SCTRI members who are committed to becoming a licensed SCT practitioner, who have completed all prerequisite intermediate training, and meet the criteria for group membership (see SCT Training Curriculum for details). Joining this group means committing to twice yearly meetings for the duration of the group.

This is a closed group.

Note: Participation in intermediate level training requires actively receiving consultation from an SCT Licensed Practitioner.

Category: Institute
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Education
Level: Intermediate Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate ability to shift from person to member in a developing group in each of its phases of system development
  • Utilize leadership and membership roles working in the context of a peer task-focused group
  • Apply SCT methods to weaken the restraining forces in shifting from person to member
  • Describe the concept of hatred of authority
  • Explain the role relationships with external authority and one’s internal authority
  • Practice working in membership with leadership towards the goal of increasing awareness of the driving and restraining forces related to leadership effectiveness, both internal in relationship to the personality style, task/maintenance dimensions, and the effect of leadership behaviors on the group's membership, subgroups and the group-as-a-whole

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2008). Group development in practice: Guidance for clinicians and researchers on stages and dynamics of change. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Functional subgrouping and the systems-centered approach to group therapy. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Moreno, J.K. (2007). Scapegoating in group psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 57(1), 93-104.

Presenters

Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice in Atlanta and Emerita faculty at Emory University School of Medicine, Psychiatry department, where she taught and coordinated group psychotherapy training for 29 years. She is the Chair of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, which was recognized with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. She trains, supervises and consults in the practice of SCT in the US and Europe and leads ongoing training groups for therapists and consultants in Atlanta, San Francisco and the Netherlands. She has published numerous journal articles and co-authored the texts Autobiography of a Theory, SCT in Action, and Systems-Centered Therapy: Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families & Groups with Yvonne Agazarian. She co-edited the book The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch in 2013. She was awarded the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy by the Group Psychotherapy Foundation for her work in editing (with Paul Cox) the special issue of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy on “Neurobiology and Interpersonal Systems: Groups, Couples and Beyond.”

Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, Member of Institute of Group Analysis, Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. He qualified in medicine in 1982, trained in Psychiatry then in Psychotherapy in Leeds (UK). He has wide experience of leading SCT training groups and workshops in UK, Europe and the USA. He has practiced as a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the UK for over 20 years and has also had a number of management roles in the NHS, including service development and implementation of training programs for psychiatry trainees. He taught psychotherapy based on SCT to junior psychiatrists and psychotherapy trainees for over 20 years. Clinically he uses SCT in individual and group therapy and has developed a manual to support this work. He uses the Theory of Living Human Systems in day-to-day organizational work, consultation and leadership.


501-I | An Advanced Exploration of the Application of Theory and Methods in Working with Differences Differently

Trainer(s): Frances Carter , MSS, LSW, CGP

In this context Advanced participants will collaborate to explore their understanding of theory and its application in the support of the survival, development and transformation in systems responding to differences. We will explore more deeply the understanding of the SCT operational definitions for system hierarchy as well as isomorphic structure, function and energy. Participants will also enhance their ability to identify the driving and restraining forces that maintain system equilibrium in the service of survival, and which restraining forces to reduce to support development.

Prerequisite: Completion of Authority Issue Group (AIG)

Category: Institute
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics
Level: Advanced Level
CE credits: 9.0
Format: Discussion, role play
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Use the concept of Hierarchy to decide when to make an intervention to the person system
  • Use the concept of Hierarchy to decide when to make an intervention to the member system
  • Use the concept of Hierarchy to decide when to make an intervention to the subgroup system
  • Describe the relationship of Structural, Functional and Vectoring interventions and give an example of when each is appropriate
  • Use Functional Subgrouping to contain differences and maintain stability
  • Use the protocols appropriate to Flight, Fight, and Role Lock dynamics

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis. The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in work with groups and individuals.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2014). Systems-centered training with couples: Building marriages that work. Systemic Thinking & Psychotherapy, 5.

Davis, R. (2013). Creating the conditions for all voices to be heard: Strategies for working with differences. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 20(1), 23-29.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

O’Neill, R.M., & Mogle, J. (2015). Systems-centered functional subgrouping and large group outcome. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 39(4), 303-317. doi: 10.13186/group.39.4.0303

Presenters

Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP, is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a clinical and consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, and a Board Member and System Mentor. She continues to be interested in the development of training, curriculum and research and has contributed her time to these work groups within SCTRI. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to communication. She brings to all her work the energy and creativity of her early background as an artist.


502-IC | Advanced Training for Trainers and Leaders: Tracking Group Development

Trainer(s): Dorothy Gibbons , MSS, LCSW, CGP ; Juliet Koprowska, MSW

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1
The weekend schedule for AIG & Observers is different from the schedule for other groups. The schedule will be sent by email.

This training observes the Authority Issue Group to track group dynamics, phase of system development, communication patterns that support the phase, leadership interventions linking interventions to theory and group functioning. Goal: To learn through observation to collect data about the impact of leader interventions in each phase of development and, through experience, to collect data about system isomorphy.

Prerequisite: Completion of the Authority Issue Group.

This is a closed group.

Category: Institute
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Education|General Interest
Level: Advanced Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Observation, didactic, experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Saturday & Sunday ,

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Analyze the leaders' SCT interventions and relate to driving and restraining forces in the phases of system development
  • Identify a predictable hierarchy of defense modification
  • Describe observations and apply experience to a Theory of Living Human Systems and systems-centered practice
  • Compare isomorphy between group being observed and observing group
  • Assess effectiveness of functional subgrouping in advanced training group (Authority Issue Group)
  • Demonstrate development of advanced training skills in the training group context

Presentation Content

Learning methods: Systems-centered practice and training was developed by Yvonne Agazarian over a number of decades. This training is offered from foundation level to licensing and more recently the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute (SCTRI) has pioneered advanced training for trainers and leaders, a training group for advanced practitioners who who wish to enhance their skills as trainers. This training is a twice yearly training observing the training and development of the Authority Issue Group (AIG). SCTRI was presented with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. The training consists of observation of the AIG training group led by Susan Gantt and Ray Haddock. Discussion and exploration, using the observations to provide data for tracking group dynamics, phase of system development, communication patterns that support the phase, leadership interventions to member, subgroup and group-as-a-whole, while linking interventions to theory and group functioning. Skills practice: using the group to practice and build on skills of giving and taking authority in training roles.

Supporting References

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2009). Group development in practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60(4), 515-544. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2010.60.4.515

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O'Neill, R.M., Smyth, J.M., & MacKenzie, M.J. (2011). Systems-centered functional subgrouping links the member to the group dynamics and goals: How-to and a pilot study. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 35(2), 105-121.

O’Neill, R.M., Constantino, M.J., & Mogle, J. (2012). Does Agazarian’s systems-centered functional subgrouping improve mood, learning and goal achievement?: A study in large groups. Group Analysis, 45, 375-390. doi: 10.1177/0533316412448287

Presenters

Dorothy Gibbons, MSS, LCSW, CGP. Dorothy Gibbons, MSS, LCSW, CGP, is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. She is in private practice in Philadelphia, PA. She works with individuals, groups, and couples. She also works as an organizational consultant to a social service agency in Philadelphia. Ms. Gibbons is the former Director of the Adolescent Sex Offender Unit at the Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia and has extensive experience working with both victims and offenders of sexual abuse. She is on the Board of Directors of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute. She is also a graduate of the Gestalt Therapy Training.

Juliet Koprowska, MSW. Juliet Koprowska, MSW, Diploma in Counselling, has extensive experience of systems-centered training at an advanced level, most recently as a member of the group observing the last Authority Issue/Licensing Group. She is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of York where her main roles are teaching qualifying and registered social workers. Her areas of expertise are communication, family work, group work, and field education. She researches communication in social work practice and is author of "Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work" (4th edition). London: Sage Learning Matters, a book widely used on social work programmes in the UK. She organises the annual SCT event held in York, England.

Five-Day Conference

The Five-Day Conference begins Monday with a Welcome from Mike Maher, Director of SCTRI

Session 1, Monday – Friday

Choose one


201a-CF | Systems-Centered Foundation Training Group - a

Trainer(s): Rick Campa , Ph.D. ; Lotte Paans, MS

In this experiential training, members create a systems-centered group through functional subgrouping, the core method of SCT. As members work together modifying personal and group constraints to growth, the group develops skills for solving problems in the uncertainty of everyday life.

Category: Session 1
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Education|General Interest
Level: Foundation Level
CE credits: 10.0
Format: Group practicum, experiential
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the skill of functional subgrouping to explore experience with others
  • Apply the skill of centering myself
  • Apply the skill of exploring my experience in the present moment
  • Practice identifying and undoing scary thoughts about the future and move my attention to here-and-now reality
  • Test the reality of my thoughts regarding what others are thinking
  • Practice being curious in the here-and-now of the group in the face of uncertainty

Presentation Content

System-Centered methods and techniques used to run groups produce high levels of engagement, less avoidance, less conflict, better inter-member relationships, more overall learning and goal achievement, and are more collaborative, productive and creative than groups using various other communication structures. Research specifically examining functional subgrouping has shown that group members find it to be a positive experience and as it relates to increased morale, learning, and goal achievement. See O’Neill et al (2013) research below for related references.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012) Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2), 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O’Neill, R.M., Murphy, V., Mogle, J., MacKenzie, M.J., MacGregor, K.L., Pearson, M., & Parekh, M. (2013). Are systems-centered teams more collaborative, productive and creative? Journal of Team Performance Management, 19(3/4), 201-221. doi: 10.1108/TPM-04-2012-0015

Presenters

Rick Campa, Ph.D.. Rick Campa, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Austin, Texas. He was awarded his doctorate in clinical psychology from Boston University in 1991 after completing an internship at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and a post-intern fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Rick moved to Texas in 1991 to serve as Director of the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at the San Antonio State Hospital where acutely agitated, psychotic, and dangerous patients were assessed and stabilized. He eventually moved to Austin to join a practice with a group of psychologists where he was introduced to the work of Dr. Yvonne Agazarian. Rick began formal SCT® training in 1998 and has been an active member in SCTRI since that time. Rick is currently a licensed SCT Practitioner and provides therapy, training, and consultation in SCT theory, methods, and techniques locally and nationally.

Lotte Paans, MS. Lotte Paans, MS, is a licensed SCT Practitioner. She runs a private practice for therapy and coaching in the Netherlands. She counsels individuals, couples and teams, provides training and supervision for (team)coaches and consultants and manages change in organizations using SCT. She leads ongoing Systems-Centered Training groups in the Netherlands, is a trainer at international SCT conferences and is the Chair and co-founder of the Dutch SCT Board.


201b-CF | Systems-Centered Foundation Training Group - b

Trainer(s): Sven-Erik Viskari , BA ; Peter Kunneman, .

In this experiential training, members create a systems-centered group through functional subgrouping, the core method of SCT. As members work together modifying personal and group constraints to growth, the group develops skills for solving problems in the uncertainty of everyday life.

Category: Session 1
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Foundation Level
CE credits: 10.0
Format: Group practicum, experiential
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the skill of functional subgrouping to explore experience with others
  • Apply the skill of centering myself
  • Apply the skill of exploring my experience in the present moment
  • Practice identifying and undoing scary thoughts about the future and move my attention to here-and-now reality
  • Test the reality of my thoughts regarding what others are thinking
  • Practice being curious in the here-and-now of the group in the face of uncertainty

Presentation Content

System-Centered methods and techniques used to run groups produce high levels of engagement, less avoidance, less conflict, better inter-member relationships, more overall learning and goal achievement, and are more collaborative, productive and creative than groups using various other communication structures. Research specifically examining functional subgrouping has shown that group members find it to be a positive experience and as it relates to increased morale, learning, and goal achievement. See O’Neill et al (2013) research below for related references.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012) Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2), 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O’Neill, R.M., Murphy, V., Mogle, J., MacKenzie, M.J., MacGregor, K.L., Pearson, M., & Parekh, M. (2013). Are systems-centered teams more collaborative, productive and creative? Journal of Team Performance Management, 19(3/4), 201-221. doi: 10.1108/TPM-04-2012-0015

Presenters

Sven-Erik Viskari, BA. Sven-Erik Viskari, BA, is a licensed psychologist and psychotherapist. As a senior Organizational Consultant, he mainly works with team building, group development and coaching of leaders and employees. As a clinician, he works with supervision in the Swedish public health care system. He is also a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and has been a member of the Board of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute 2006-2017.

Peter Kunneman, .. Peter Kunneman has 30 years’ experience in managing teams to deliver value to clients. Clients work with him in partnership and can rely on result focus, solid stakeholder management and strong team performance. Peter uses Systems-Centered methods and tools, which make teams perform better and work together more creatively. People in his teams develop a deeper understanding of the roles that they need to fulfill in order to reach the goals that are required in the context. Peter brings integrity, commitment and humor to his work. He is a licensed SCT Practitioner.


302-C | Intermediate Training: Working with Role Systems

Trainer(s): Claudia Byram , Ph.D., CGP ; Rowena Davis, MSc

Participants will use SCT methods to build the group as a context for exploring the relationships among group-as-a-whole, member and inner-person systems. We will discover how communication outputs signal the source of the sending role-system and explore how the sending system relates to the group context. Members who have attended Intermediate Skills Training qualify. Any others use the application to assess your readiness.

Prerequisite: Completion of Intermediate Skills Training (IST) or by application to assess your readiness. If you have not yet attended the IST, send application with details of your SCT training to date to Claudia Byram

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 24, 2021

Category: Session 1
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Intermediate Level
CE credits: 10.0
Format: Experiential
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe one behavioral output of inner-person role-systems
  • Describe one behavioral output of inter-person role-systems
  • Describe one behavioral output of a whole system role
  • Identify one example of a survival role-system triggered in the flight or fight subphase
  • Describe the connection between curiosity and the communication potential between the Explorer and Survival role systems
  • Give one example of moving from a survival role-system to an inter-person role, naming one driving or restraining force influencing the shift

Presentation Content

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Use our systems-centered pictures as a map. Systems-Centered News 25(1), 3-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2000). Autobiography of a theory: Developing a theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P. (2015). Systems-centered group therapy. In E.S. Neukrug (Ed.), Encyclopedia of theory in counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2011). The group mind, systems-centred functional subgrouping, and interpersonal neurobiology. In E. Hopper & H. Weinberg (Eds.), The social unconscious in persons, groups, and societies: Volume 1: Mainly theory (pp. 99-123). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Siegel, D. (2010). Mindsight: The new science of personal transformation. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Presenters

Claudia Byram, Ph.D., CGP. Claudia Byram, Ph.D., CGP, is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner with a clinical practice in Philadelphia. She leads Systems-Centered training events, as well as communications training and consultation in the SAVI (System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction) model. She has worked since 1980 as a clinician and trainer, with a doctorate in developmental and clinical psychology from Bryn Mawr College. She began work with Yvonne Agazarian in the early 80s, shifting from psychoanalytic practice toward systems as systems-centered therapy developed.

Rowena Davis, MSc. Rowena Davis, MSc, is an organizational consultant working with public, private and not-for-profit organizations in the UK and internationally. Her work combines coaching individuals and teams; strategic marketing and planning; mapping systems; and running SCT and SAVI trainings in the US and Europe. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner, a certified SAVI trainer, a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board and a Director of SCT UK. She holds an MSc in Change Agent Skills & Strategies (Distinction) from the University of Surrey, a Dottore in Sociologia from the University of Trento, Italy, and a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.


503-C | Advanced Training Group

Trainer(s): Frances Carter , MSS, LSW, CGP

Advanced members apply the Theory of Living Human Systems (TLHS) and SCT methods to build and develop a systems-centered group context within which they can explore intimacy phase roles that impact the capacity for member role in the group and the conference-as-a-whole.

Prerequisite: Completion of Authority Issue Group, active membership in SCTRI. If not currently in a training context, please contact Fran Carter and Sven-Erik Viskari for permission.

Category: Session 1
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Advanced Level
CE credits: 10.0
Format: Experiential, review
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the concept of a member role to practice shifting from one's personal experience to one's experience in a larger context
  • Use the method of functional subgrouping to test the hypothesis that discrimination and integration of difference contributes to survival, development and transformation
  • Discuss the similarities and differences in experience at different system levels: person, member, subgroup and group-as-a-whole
  • Identify and reduce the restraining forces appropriate to the phase of development
  • Articulate fresh ways of taking up membership by exploring and reducing stereotyped habits of membership
  • Discover and discuss the function of the "advanced" group in the system-as-a-whole

Presentation Content

Systems-centered training has been widely accepted in group psychotherapy and organizational development contexts. Its methods link to conditions that correlate with successful outcomes in group work - functional subgrouping increases group cohesion and lowers scapegoating.

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis. The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in work with groups and individuals.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2000). Autobiography of a theory: Developing a theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (Eds.) (2005). SCT in action: Applying the systems-centered approach in organizations. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. Reprint (2006). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2013). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. In S.P Gantt & B. Badenoch (Eds.) The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O’Neill, R.M., & Constantino, M.J. (2008). Systems-centered training groups’ process and outcome: A comparison with AGPA institute groups. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 58(1), 77-102. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2008.58.1.77

Presenters

Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP, is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a clinical and consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, a current Board Member and System Mentor. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to communication.

Session 2, Monday – Thursday

Choose one


403-C | Theory into Practice: Explore the Contribution of the Person-as-a-System Map to Deepening the Understanding of SCT Protocols

Trainer(s): Annie MacIver , BA, MA, CQSW ; A. Meigs Ross, M.Div., LCSW

This group meets Mon-Thu

This workshop is for Intermediate and Advanced members and focuses on putting theory into practice. The goal of the workshop is to explore and integrate new theory, using the Person-as-a-System Map to deepen the understanding of the use of the SCT protocols.

Prerequisite: Completion of Mentor Training and in active consultation.

Note: Participation in intermediate level training requires actively receiving consultation from an SCT Licensed Practitioner.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Intermediate Level|Advanced Level
CE credits: 6.0
Format: Didactic & practicum
Day(s):

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the person-as-a-system theory
  • Apply an understanding of the theoretical context for the use of SCT protocols
  • Apply an understanding of the phases of system development to the use of SCT protocols
  • Apply an understanding of the new theory in using SCT protocols in participants’ own contexts
  • Describe the importance of the sequence of defense modification outlined in the hierarchy
  • Describe the hierarchy of defense modification and its relationship to the phases of system development

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis. The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Systems-centered theory and practice: The contribution of Yvonne Agazarian (Edited by SCTRI). Livermore, CA: WingSpan Press. Reprint (2011). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2), 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: A theory of living human systems and its systems- centered practice. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 36(1), 19-36.

Davis, R. (2020) How do we keep theory alive and use it in practice? Systems-Centered News, 28(1), 7-10.

Presenters

Annie MacIver, BA, MA, CQSW . Annie MacIver, BA, MA, CQSW, worked in senior leadership roles in Local Authority Children's Services in England for many years latterly as Director of Children's Services. As such she has extensive experience of applying SCT in large complex organisations. Since 2019 Annie has worked in private practice offering training, consultation, coaching and mentoring. Annie is a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a member of the SCTRI Board.

A. Meigs Ross, M.Div., LCSW. The Rev. A. Meigs Ross, LCSW-R, is a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice in New York City. She is also an adjunct professor and Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor at Union Theological Seminary in New York and Jewish Theological Seminary. She is an Episcopal priest, a licensed systems-centered practitioner and, a certified clinical pastoral educator with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, a certified chaplain with the Association for Professional Chaplains and a licensed Clinical Social Worker. Rev. Ross has served as the Manager of Pastoral Care and Education at New York Presbyterian Hospital the Director of Clinical Pastoral Education at the HealthCare Chaplaincy in New York and continues to serve as a consultant with New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Episcopal Church. Rev. Ross received a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and an MSW from New York University.


404-C | Force Field Training: Integrating Force Field Development with Theory and Practice

Trainer(s): Rowena Davis , MSc ; Rick Campa, Ph.D.

This group meets Mon-Thu

SCT uses force field analysis to track driving and restraining forces to system development and to identify the explicit and implicit goals at any system level. In this four-day intermediate/advanced training, we will use data from experiential work to build force fields. We will focus on gathering data (vs. opinions) and weakening restraining forces to working with differences differently.

Prerequisite: Completion of Intermediate Skills Training (IST).

Note: Participation in intermediate level training requires actively receiving consultation from an SCT Licensed Practitioner.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Intermediate Level|Advanced Level
CE credits: 6.0
Format: Didactic, experiential, group practicum
Day(s):

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the theory behind SCT's use of Lewin's force field to identify the system’s readiness for change
  • Describe the difference between an opinion-based and a description-based force field
  • Use force fields to identify the implicit and explicit goals of a system
  • Use force fields to identify the phase of development of system development
  • Discriminate Inter-Person system output from Inner-Person output
  • Describe one’s own leading edge in creating and using a force field

Presentation Content

The systems-centered approach developed by Yvonne Agazarian is considered by APA a contribution to the knowledge of the boundaries between clinical and social psychology. Systems-centered training draws on a comprehensive systems theory, that is implemented by specific, theory-derived methods and techniques. The core method, functional subgrouping, is indicated by peer-reviewed research to improve group functioning.

Force fields were developed by Kurt Lewin in 1947. They are an important tool used in SCT to aid in collecting data about the driving and restraining forces in human systems. Force fields are used in many other contexts, including organizational development, where they are used in a similar way.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2003). Phases of group development: Systems-centered hypotheses and their implications for research and practice. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice, 7(3), 238-252. doi: 10.1037/1089-2699.7.3.238

Davis, R. (2014). Working across organisational boundaries: Shifting from complaining and blaming to problem-solving. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 21(3), 22-37.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2007). Phases of system development in organizational work groups: The systems-centered approach for intervening in context. Organisational & Social Dynamics, 7(2), 253-291.

Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Shirey, M. (2013). Lewin’s theory of planned change as a strategic resource. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(2), 69–72.

Siegel, D. (2010). Mindsight: The new science of personal transformation. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Presenters

Rowena Davis, MSc. Rowena Davis, MSc, is an organizational consultant working with public, private and not-for-profit organizations in the UK and internationally. Her work combines coaching individuals and teams; strategic marketing and planning; mapping systems; and running SCT and SAVI trainings in the US and Europe. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner, a certified SAVI trainer, a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board and a Director of SCT UK. She holds an MSc in Change Agent Skills & Strategies (Distinction) from the University of Surrey, a Dottore in Sociologia from the University of Trento, Italy, and a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

Rick Campa, Ph.D.. Rick Campa, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist located in Austin, Texas. He was awarded his doctorate in clinical psychology from Boston University in 1991 after completing an internship at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and a post-intern fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Rick moved to Texas in 1991 to serve as Director of the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at the San Antonio State Hospital where acutely agitated, psychotic, and criminally dangerous patients were assessed and stabilized. He eventually moved to Austin to join a practice with a group of psychologists where he was introduced to the work of Dr. Yvonne Agazarian. In 1998, Rick began formal training in SCT and has been an active member in SCTRI since that time. Rick is currently a licensed SCT Practitioner and provides therapy, training, and consultation in SCT theory, methods, and techniques locally and nationally.

Session 2, Monday

Choose one


01 | Basics in SCT: Functional Subgrouping

Trainer(s): Dayne Narretta, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA and Deborah Woolf, MSS, LCSW, PHR

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

Functional subgrouping is the core method used in SCT to implement the theory statement that all living systems survive, develop and transform by discriminating differences in the apparently similar and similarities in the apparently different. This group will introduce and practice the behaviors that support functional subgrouping.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential practice
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe how functional subgrouping helps systems to integrate, rather than split off differences
  • Apply two behaviors that support functional subgrouping
  • Describe how functional subgrouping helps to activate one's observing system

Presentation Content

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Functional subgrouping has been shown to increase group cohesion and decrease scapegoating. Developing a functional subgroup requires a set of verbal behaviors/skills which, once learned, facilitate exploration and conflict resolution in any context. Joining with similarities includes identifying authentic resonance within oneself, matching or slightly increasing the intensity of affect, adding new bits to build the subgroup without bringing in too big a difference.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Gantt, S.P., & Adams, J.M. (2010). Systems-centered training for therapists: Beyond stereotyping to integrating diversities into the change process. Women & Therapy, 33(1), 101-120. doi: 10.1080/02703140903404812

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60(4), 515-544. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2010.60.4.515

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Gantt, S.P., (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered’s functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today’s Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

O'Neill, R.M., Smyth, J.M. & MacKenzie, M.J. (2011). Systems-centered functional subgrouping links the member to the group dynamics and goals: How-to and a pilot study. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 35(2), 105-121.

Presenters

Dayne Narretta, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA. Dayne Narretta, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAGPA, is in Private Practice in Baton Rouge, LA. She has been facilitating groups since 1992. She has done her group training through Systems-Centered Training Research Institute, American Group Psychotherapy Association and its affiliates. She was introduced to Systems-Centered group work in 2004 and continues her training in the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute. Dayne is currently on the Board for American Group Psychotherapy Association and is a Co-Director for the Systems-Centered Training Annual Conference. She is a past president of Louisiana Group Psychotherapy Society and has been a member of a Systems-Centered training group since 2008.

Deborah Woolf, MSS, LCSW, PHR. Deborah Woolf, LCSW, PHR, has been training in Systems-Centered Theory (SCT) since 1999 and been a member of Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute since 2001. She is a clinician working in an outpatient setting with individuals and groups. She has worked in Human Resources and in Organizational Development and applies SCT to that work as well. Psychoanalytic Theory as well as other theories have also influenced her. She has trained in the use of the System for Analyzing Verbal Interactions (SAVI) since 20o1 and has presented workshops and trainings on Diversity, Mentoring and SCT.


02 | Basics in SCT: Introduction to a Theory of Living Human Systems and Its Basis for Systems-Centered Practice

Trainer(s): Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

Introduction to the fundamentals of a Theory of Living Human Systems, including fundamental neurobiology, developmental biology and how this links to systems-centered methods.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, discussion
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the fundamental concepts of a Theory of Living Human Systems (TLHS)
  • Define how SCT methods relate to a Theory of Living Human Systems
  • Summarize key neurobiological and developmental concepts that link to the theory

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

There is also an increasing body of research and writing that is integrating, neurobiology and human development to the theory and practice of working with groups.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group processes. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Presenters

Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, qualified in medicine in 1982, trained in Psychiatry then in Psychotherapy in Leeds (UK). Qualified as a member of the Institute of Group Analysis in 1993 and now a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. Wide experience of leading SCT training groups and workshops in UK, Europe and the USA. Practices part time as a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the UK and works in independent practice as a Systems-Centered Practitioner in training and consultancy. Provision of therapy with complex patient problems in the NHS for over 25 years. Member of the board of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute and the International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes. Lead editor of Theory and Applications section of SCT Newsletter. Lead for SCTRI board theory group.


03 | Undoing Stereotype Splits in a Multi-Agency Context

Trainer(s): Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, UKCP

This workshop will describe the dynamics in a multi-agency group tasked with reducing harm to girls at risk of sexual exploitation. Agencies related to these girls differently - as victims of trauma and crime or as active in their self-destructiveness. The integration of the split will be described, referencing SCT theory and practice and negative capability - the capacity to not know.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe how stereotype splits keep the system stable and inhibit cooperation
  • Explain how SCT methods can help integrate stereotyped attitudinal differences
  • Describe how SCT theory and methods relate to the concept of negative capability

Presentation Content

Systems-centered practice in groups has been developed from the application of the Theory of Living Human Systems to weaken the restraining forces to system development. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Systems-centered theory and practice: The contribution of Yvonne Agazarian (Edited by SCTRI). Livermore, CA: WingSpan Press. Reprint (2011). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered's functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today's Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67 (sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, UKCP. Mike Maher is a psychotherapist, trainer and organisational consultant. He is a Licensed SCT Practitioner and Director of SCTRI and leads three ongoing SCT training groups. He was Deputy Director in a Therapeutic Community and subsequently he has developed a specialism in working with staff who work with client groups - adolescents and adults - characterised by their challenging natures. He has written papers and book chapters in working with staff groups, organisational issues in mental health reform, managing self-harm behaviours and other subjects, and has presented at many national and international conferences.


04 | Bridging a Turbulent Divide: Using the Tools of SCT to Integrate Political Differences

Trainer(s): Norma Safransky, MD and Joseph Hovey, LCSW, CGP

Political conversations are often turbulent and polarized. In the face of political differences, individuals can experience frustration and anger and close boundaries to those differences. Could system-centered techniques allow for a different experience? This workshop will explore what happens in our political communications when we use functional subgrouping to reduce restraining forces in our system. We hope to develop energy and insight applicable to political communication in our relationships, communities, and the world at large.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic and experiential
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Name one driving and one restraining force toward the goal of problem-solving in the context of differing political opinions (e.g., how to address the crisis of climate change)
  • Describe how awareness of role, goal and context supports information transfer in discussions involving political differences
  • Compare the impact of survival roles with that of curious observer roles on information transfer in a system containing differences of political opinion

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis. The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses. The Theory of Living Human Systems states that living human systems survive, develop and transform from simple to complex by discriminating and integrating differences. This process of recognizing and integrating differences is often especially challenging in the context of political difference. Our boundaries often close to “the other side,” restraining our personal, relationship and societal development. Attacks, negative predictions and stereotyping pervade many of these political interactions. Utilizing SCT tools and insights this workshop will endeavor to shift these patterns of political communication and discover a path toward more effective integration and development in relationships and broader social systems.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Davis, R. (2014). Working across organisational boundaries: Shifting from complaining and blaming to problem-solving. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 21(3), 22-37.

Gantt, S.P., & Adams, J.M. (2010). Systems-centered training for therapists: Beyond stereotyping to integrating diversities into the change process. Women and Therapy, 33(1), 101-120. doi: 10.1080/02703140903404812

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Hovey, J. (2019). Communicating about politics in group: Is there room for a difference? GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 43(2-4), 113-126.

Presenters

Norma Safransky, MD. Norma Safransky, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice in Chapel Hill, NC. She has worked since 2011 as an SCT clinician. She began work with Yvonne Agazarian in 2002. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. She has led Systems-Centered training events in Chapel Hill, NC, San Francisco, CA, Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY. She has been painting, knitting, sewing, making sculptures and dancing since she was seven years old and has recently picked up the ukelele. She has found SCT practices facilitate her artistic process.

Joseph Hovey, LCSW, CGP. Joseph Hovey, LCSW, CGP, is a social worker and psychotherapist in Brooklyn, NY. He works as a school-based group and individual therapist in Coney Island, runs a gay men’s therapy group in Chelsea, and does individual and relationship therapy through his private practice in Downtown Brooklyn. He has been training in SAVI since 2017 and SCT since 2015, including a year with Yvonne Agazarian. He serves on the board of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, as the co-chair of the Social Action Committee and the Brooklyn Discussion Group, and as a member of the EGPS Work Group for Racial Equity. He has presented at multiple workshops and events. His article “Communicating About Politics in Group: Is There Room for a Difference?” was recently published in the journal "GROUP."


05 | Using SCT Methods to Build a Creative Romantic Relationship

Trainer(s): David Reis, SEP, AP and Marianne Williams Bentzen, Psychotherapist

Using examples from their own marriage, Marianne and David will describe how Functional Subgrouping and selected protocols and methods from SCT can be used to build deeper functionality in a couple’s relationship in everyday life, work-sharing, decision-making, conflicts, and sexuality. Participants will subgroup around the specific parts of the presentation. The workshop will move back and forth between presentation and Functional Subgrouping.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Presentation, experiential
Day(s): Monday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • List two SCT protocols that can be used to deepen relationship function
  • Identify and reduce noise in my relationships
  • Use functional subgrouping to explore relationship questions

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2), 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2014). Hierarchy and isomorphy. Systems-Centered News, 21(2), 6-7.

Bentzen, M. (2014). Child's play - natural origins of status, the SCT authority phase and functional subgrouping. Systems-Centered News, 21(2), 8-13.

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Presenters

David Reis, SEP, AP. David Reis, SEP, AP, has an eclectic background and education working as an energetic healer, Somatic Experiencing trauma therapist, psychotherapist, couple's consultant using SCT methods, group facilitator and organizational consultant. He lived and worked in an intentional community in practical and leadership roles. David has taught internationally, presented at SCT and Somatic Experiencing conferences and has led groups learning SCT functional subgrouping. He completed the Authority Issue Group and is a part of Licensing Group VII.

Marianne Williams Bentzen, Psychotherapist. Marianne Bentzen has worked internationally as a psychotherapist and psychotherapy trainer for more than 35 years. Since 1998 she has been mapping and applying Neuroaffective Developmental Psychology (NADP) with her friend and colleague, Susan Hart, Ph.D. She has written three books and contributed chapters to many more. Her professional perspective includes psychomotor development, developmental neuropsychology, trauma theory, evolutionary psychology, 12+ years of SCT and an intermediate-level understanding of it, and 25+ years of meditation with the Danish spiritual teacher Jes Bertelsen, Ph.D.

Session 2, Tuesday

Choose one


06 | Basics in SCT: Explain/Explore: The Fork-in-the-Road

Trainer(s): Mike Maher , MA, PGCE

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

Developing awareness of the fork-in-the-road between explaining and exploring is a discrimination that opens us to the possibility of change. Explaining keeps us focused on what we already know, and exploring moves us into the unknown where something new can emerge. Using the fork-in-the-road we will explore experience at the edge of the unknown as well as the information contained within our tendency to explain.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential, discussion
Day(s): Tuesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the fork-in-the-road as a method to vector energy
  • Apply explaining versus exploring as a fork-in-the-road
  • Practice using the fork-in-the road method

Presentation Content

Through didactic and experiential learning, this workshop will provide initial training to participants in understanding and using the systems-centered method of vectoring (specifically the fork-in-the-road intervention). The systems-centered approach has been in the field of group psychotherapy for over 20 years. Approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and multiple books in the fields of psychotherapy and organizational development have been published. The systems-centered approach has been studied and linked to successful strategies for increasing the effectiveness of leadership interventions in individual and group psychotherapy and in organizational contexts.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Systems-centered theory and practice: The contribution of Yvonne Agazarian (Edited by SCTRI). Livermore, CA: WingSpan Press. Reprint (2011). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: A theory of living human systems and its systems- centered practice. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 36(1), 19-36.

Gantt, S.P. (2015). Systems-centered group therapy. In E.S. Neukrug (Ed.), Encyclopedia of theory in counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered's functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today's Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

Presenters

Mike Maher, MA, PGCE. Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, is a psychotherapist, trainer and organisational consultant. He is a Licensed SCT Practitioner and Director of SCTRI and leads four ongoing SCT training groups. He was Deputy Director in a Therapeutic Community and subsequently he has developed a specialism in working with staff who work with client groups - adolescents and adults - characterised by their challenging natures. He has written papers and book chapters in working with staff groups, organisational issues in mental health reform, managing self-harm behaviours and other subjects, and has presented at many national and international conferences.


07 | Basics in SCT: Seeing Systems

Trainer(s): Frances Carter , MSS, LSW, CGP

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

Learning to see systems and not just people is the heart of applying systems thinking. Participants will explore how to apply the constructs of the theory of living human systems in looking at living human systems as small as a person and as big as the world.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Presentation, discussion
Day(s): Tuesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • State the connection between theory (TLHS) and practice (SCT)
  • Practice thinking systems and not just people
  • Describe and diagram the essential system variables identified in a theory of living human systems

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107. doi: 10.1177/104649649903000105

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP, is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a clinical and consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, and a Board Member and System Mentor. She continues to be interested in the development of training, curriculum and research and has contributed her time to these work groups within SCTRI. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to communication. She brings to all her work the energy and creativity of her early background as an artist.


08 | Exploring Trauma as a Leading Learning Edge for SCT

Trainer(s): David Reis , SEP, AP

Trauma is identified as an important learning edge in the SCT community. This workshop introduces central concepts in understanding trauma and in regulating traumatic states in the nervous system, adapted from the evidence-based body-oriented trauma therapy Somatic Experiencing® (SE). Three core practices of Somatic Experiencing theory, developed by Peter Levine, Ph.D., will be described, practiced and related to SCT theory and application.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|General Interest
Level: Intermediate Level|Advanced Level
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Presentation, experiential
Day(s): Tuesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the Somatic Experiencing definition of trauma
  • Describe the five stages the nervous system goes through to process high energy experiences
  • Name three central practices in regulating trauma states

Presentation Content

Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing trauma resolution approach is evidence-based and has been developed over 45 years of practice. It has been used with situational trauma--auto accidents, falls, attacks, and sexual violence. It is also used to work with PTSD and developmental trauma. Working and interfacing with the central nervous system as compared to just the psychological aspects of trauma adds a dimension to trauma work that has been missing. This more body-based approach allows the underlying neural networks that are overwhelmed by traumatic experience to be repaired or reworked as is necessary.

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2), 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Brom, D., Stokar, Y., Lawi, C., Nuriel-Porat, V., Ziv, Y., Lerner, K., & Ross, G. (2017). Somatic Experiencing for posttraumatic stress disorder: A randomized controlled outcome study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 30(3), 304-312. doi.org/10.1002/jts.22189

Payne, P., Levine, P.L., & Crane-Godreau, M.A. (2015). Somatic experiencing: Using interoception and proprioception as core elements of trauma therapy. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00093

Presenters

David Reis, SEP, AP. David Reis, SEP, AP, has an eclectic background and education working in Denmark as a Somatic Experiencing trauma therapist since 2006, psychotherapist, couple's consultant using SCT methods, group facilitator, organizational consultant and an energetic healer. David has taught internationally, presented at SCT and Somatic Experiencing conferences and has led groups learning SCT functional subgrouping. He completed the Authority Issue Group and is a part of Licensing Group VII.


09 | Integrating Spiritual Differences Across System Boundaries

Trainer(s): A. Meigs Ross , M.Div., LCSW ; David Fleenor, M.Div., S.T.M., BCC, ACPE

Religious/spiritual differences can be at the heart of conflict at any level of a system. Spiritual struggle is a concept in the spiritual care literature defined as “conflicts over spiritual matters with God/Higher Power, within oneself, and with other people.” By using didactic presentation and small group exploration, this workshop will explore religious/spiritual difference through an SCT lens, including inherent driving and restraining forces in the conflict.

Category: Session 2
Track: General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Experiential, didactic
Day(s): Tuesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Discuss spiritual conflicts in each of the following systems: person, subgroup and group-as-a-whole
  • Demonstrate functional subgrouping around experiences of religious/spiritual similarity and difference
  • Apply force field analysis to identify at least two driving and two restraining forces to integrating religious/spiritual difference

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for discriminating and integrating differences rather than scapegoating them, which can be applied to issues of religious and spiritual intolerance.

The concept of spiritual struggle (formerly known as religious struggle) was first identified in the 1990’s by psychologist of religion Kenneth Pargament, who subsequently developed spiritually-integrated psychotherapy. Spiritual struggle has been studied in the fields of psychology, medicine, and health care chaplaincy for over 20 years, and presented in approximately 50 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. A number of researchers have established its prevalence in a variety of patient populations including adolescent and young adult cancer survivors, adolescent transgender patients, geriatric mood disordered patients, bereaved parents, hematopoietic cell transplant survivors, parents of children with cystic fibrosis, women with breast cancer, undergraduates with alcohol problems, HIV/AIDS patients, and patients seeking treatment for chronic headaches.

Supporting References

Exline, J.J., & Rose, E.D. (2014). Religious and spiritual struggles. In Paloutzian, R.F., & Park, C.L. (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (pp. 380-398). New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

Gantt, S.P., & Adams, J.M. (2010). Systems-centered training for therapists: Beyond stereotyping to integrating diversities into the change process. Women & Therapy, 33(1), 101-120. doi: 10.1080/02703140903404812

Garlid, K. (2015). Lowering anxiety to enhance learning: Using SCT in the “Verbatim Seminar.” Systems-Centered News, 23(2), 14-15.

Hemenway, J. (2004). A demonstration group. Systems-Centered News, 12(1), 6.

O'Neill, R.M., Reynolds, W.B., Culbertson, T.R., & Franklin, R.Y. (2012). Systems-centered® training's functional subgrouping: A path to Koinonia in pastoral care. Chaplaincy Today, 28(1), 2-13.

Pargament, K.I. (2011). Spiritually integrated psychotherapy: Understanding and addressing the sacred. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Pargament, K.I., Lomax, J.W., McGee, J.S., & Fang, Q. (2014). Sacred moments in psychotherapy from the perspectives of mental health providers and clients: Prevalence, predictors, and consequences. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 1(4), 248.

Sherman, M.D., Harris, J.I., & Erbes, C. (2015). Clinical approaches to addressing spiritual struggle in veterans with PTSD. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 46(4), 203.

Presenters

A. Meigs Ross, M.Div., LCSW. The Rev. A. Meigs Ross, LCSW-R, is a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice in New York City. She is also an adjunct professor and Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor at Union Theological Seminary in New York and Jewish Theological Seminary. She is an Episcopal priest, a licensed systems-centered practitioner and, a certified clinical pastoral educator with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, a certified chaplain with the Association for Professional Chaplains and a licensed Clinical Social Worker. Rev. Ross has served as the Manager of Pastoral Care and Education at New York Presbyterian Hospital the Director of Clinical Pastoral Education at the HealthCare Chaplaincy in New York and continues to serve as a consultant with New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Episcopal Church. Rev. Ross received a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and an MSW from New York University.

David Fleenor, M.Div., S.T.M., BCC, ACPE. The Rev. David Fleenor is the Director of Education at the Center for Spirituality and Health and Assistant Professor of Medical Education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. He leads the Clinical Pastoral Education programs at Mount Sinai and teaches spirituality and health in the medical school. He is an Episcopal priest, a certified clinical pastoral educator with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, and a certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains. Rev. Fleenor has served as the Senior Director of Clinical Services and Education at the HealthCare Chaplaincy in New York and as the Manager of Pastoral Care and Education at New York University Langone Medical Center. Rev. Fleenor received a Master of Divinity from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary and a Master of Sacred Theology from the General Theological Seminary. He is currently a student in the Ph.D. in Health Sciences program at Rush University.


10 | From Vision to Reality - Dealing with Differences Differently in Creative Expression

Trainer(s): Norma Safransky , MD

We often have a vision of what we want to create. The vision may be artistic, a professional project, or our plan to work with a client as they move toward their own vision. Once we’ve gathered our energy and moved into producing our creation, we inevitably confront differences from our vision. Our response to those differences influences the experience and outcome of our creative expression. Members will build sculptures in this workshop using a polymer clay like Sculpy ( readily available online).

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Education|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Experiential
Day(s): Tuesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Name one reaction to a difference that is a restraining force toward the goal of creative expression
  • Name one reaction to difference that is a driving force toward the goal of creative expression
  • Describe the effect on my creative process of reducing a restraining force associated with a reaction to difference
  • Name one restraining force that I can reduce in the creative expression in my professional context

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. We will use this theory and method to test the hypothesis that SCT methods can reduce the restraining forces to creative expression. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis. There is also reference to SCT methods in The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters demonstrating the use of SCT in improvisational quilting.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses. Modifications of these defenses are also applicable to any creative process which is inherent in all clinical, educational and organizational processes.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: A theory of living human systems and its systems-centered practice. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 36(1), 19-36.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2005). The systems perspective. In S. Wheelan (Ed.), Handbook of group research and practice (pp. 187-200). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2008). Group development in practice: Guidance for clinicians and researchers on stages and dynamics of change. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2007). Phases of system development in organizational work groups: The systems-centered approach for intervening in context. Organisational & Social Dynamics, 7(2), 253-291.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60(4), 514-545. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2010.60.4.515

Moreno, J.K. (2007). Scapegoating in group psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 57(1), 93-104.

O’Neill, R.M., & Constantino, M.J. (2008). Systems-centered training groups’ process and outcome: A comparison with AGPA institute groups. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 58(1), 77-102. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2008.58.1.77

O’Neill, R.M., Constantino, M.J., & Mogle, J. (2012). Does Agazarian’s systems-centered functional subgrouping improve mood, learning and goal achievement?: A study in large groups. Group Analysis, 45, 375-390. doi: 10.1177/0533316412448287

O’Neill, R.M., Murphy, V., Mogle, J., MacKenzie, M.J., MacGregor, K.L., Pearson, M., & Parekh, M. (2013). Are systems-centered teams more collaborative, productive and creative? Journal of Team Performance Management, 19(3/4), 201-221. doi: 10.1108/TPM-04-2012-0015

Wood, S.L. (2015). Improv handbook for modern quilters. New York, NY: Abrams.

Presenters

Norma Safransky, MD. Norma Safransky, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice in Chapel Hill, NC. She has worked since 2011 as an SCT clinician. She began work with Yvonne Agazarian in 2002. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. She has led Systems-Centered training events in Chapel Hill, NC, San Francisco, CA, Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY. She has been painting, knitting, sewing, making sculptures and dancing since she was seven years old and has recently picked up a guitar to continue to explore creative expression. She has found SCT practices facilitate her artistic process.

Session 2, Wednesday

Choose one


11 | Basics in SCT: Undoing Anxiety

Trainer(s): Peter Kunneman , .

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

SCT identifies three sources of anxiety. These will be introduced and normalized at the same time as recognizing that anxiety is often a barrier between the individual and authentic experience. The group will enable people to consider the discrimination between anxiety and sitting at the edge of the unknown.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • List the three sources of anxiety identified in SCT
  • Describe the discrimination between mindreads and negative predictions
  • Describe the discrimination between anxiety that defends against experience and anxiety at the edge of the unknown

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Systems-centered theory and practice: The contribution of Yvonne Agazarian (Edited by SCTRI). Livermore, CA: WingSpan Press. Reprint (2011). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Wheelan, S.A. (2016). Creating effective teams: A guide for members and leaders. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Presenters

Peter Kunneman, .. Peter Kunneman has a background in organizational consulting. He typically works with organizations that are challenged by changes they find difficult to integrate. Since 2009 Peter is increasingly applying the Theory of Living Human Systems in his work. Currently his focus is on coaching teams in conflict, using Functional Subgrouping as the core method. He discovered that in that work forming subsystems of coaches which are able to contain the fight energy with the client system is a key success factor. He is a licensed SCT Practitioner.


12 | Basics in SCT: Distraction Exercise

Trainer(s): Åsa Bergquist Håål , MA

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

This group offers the opportunity to learn more about the theory behind the SCT distraction exercise. Participants will have the opportunity to practice and explore their experiences with the distraction exercise as well.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the theoretical underpinnings of the distraction exercise
  • Practice the protocol of the distraction exercise
  • Describe how the distraction exercise contributes to building a system

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107. doi: 10.1177/104649649903000105

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2011). The group mind, systems-centred functional subgrouping, and interpersonal neurobiology. In E. Hopper & H. Weinberg (Eds.), The social unconscious in persons, groups, and societies: Volume 1: Mainly theory (pp. 99-123). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Åsa Bergquist Håål, MA. Åsa Bergquist Håål, MA, has since 2002 worked with organizations development, designing and facilitating business transformation programs, leading workshops and training groups. She has developed a parenting program and a train the trainer program in the context of drug prevention. She is a member of the SCT Licensing Group VII.


13 | Co-Leading an SCT Group

Trainer(s): Nina Klebanoff , Ed.M., LCSW, CGP ; Mike Maher, MA, PGCE

Co-leading a group can be painful or, like a piece of ice on a hot stove, it can ride on its own melting. This workshop will explore the factors which make it more or less likely to be a successful experience and explore the different models of co-leading, with an examination of the driving and restraining forces related to each. The workshop will be co-led and will involve an in-vivo examination by participants of a developed co-leading system.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe one driving force and one restraining force for a co-leadership model
  • Describe three criteria for choosing a co-leadership model
  • Assess my own experiences of co-leadership, as a co-leader and/or as a member

Presentation Content

Systems-centered practice in groups has been developed from the application of the Theory of Living Human Systems to weaken the restraining forces to system development. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Systems-centered theory and practice: The contribution of Yvonne Agazarian (Edited by SCTRI). Livermore, CA: WingSpan Press. Reprint (2011). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered's functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today's Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67 (sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Nina Klebanoff, Ed.M., LCSW, CGP. Nina Klebanoff, Ed.M., LCSW, CGP, has been in private practice for over forty years, working with individuals, groups, couples' groups and organizations. Nina leads an ongoing SCT training group, provides consultation and has presented at numerous conferences.

Mike Maher, MA, PGCE. Mike Maher, MA, PGCE, is a psychotherapist, trainer and organizational consultant. He is a Licensed SCT Practitioner and Director of SCTRI and leads three ongoing SCT training groups. He was Deputy Director in a Therapeutic Community and subsequently he has developed a specialism in working with staff who work with client groups - adolescents and adults - characterised by their challenging natures. He has written papers and book chapters in working with staff groups, organisational issues in mental health reform, managing self-harm behaviours and other subjects, and has presented at many national and international conferences.


14 | Shifting Team Member Differences from Restraining to Driving

Trainer(s): Michelle C. Lynskey , BA, Ph.D. ; Allan J. Rubin, BS, MBA

Assessments are commonly used by organizational development (OD) practitioners to help re-frame team member behaviors, all of which have strengths and challenges. This workshop will look at assessments as a starting point in an exploration of ways to increase the success of work teams by re-framing differences so that members can more fully be themselves and step more easily into their member roles.

Category: Session 2
Track: Organizational
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe one way I could incorporate the use of assessments as a map to facilitate re-framing and contextualizing differences between team members
  • Describe two benefits of making person-system differences transparent to the system and two approaches for re-framing them to more easily take up one’s member role
  • Identify two approaches I could explore to support teams seeing differences differently in service of member and team goals

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals.

The theory of living human systems defines a hierarchy of isomorphic systems that are energy organizing, goal directed, and self correcting. Every system exists in the context of the system above it and is the context for the system below it. This workshop explores enhancing a team’s member system by exploring and framing contexts for the team members’ person systems below it.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books. 

Agazarian, Y.M. (2014). Emerging theory. Systems-Centered News, 22(1), 3-9.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2015). De-personalizing “personalizing.” Systems-Centered News, 23(1), 4-6.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2015). Our person-as-a-system revisited. Systems-Centered News, 23(1), 7-13.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (Eds.) (2005). SCT in action: Applying the systems-centered approach in organizations. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. Reprint (2006). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Presenters

Michelle C. Lynskey, BA, Ph.D.. Michelle Lynskey, BA, MBA, has been an executive coach and organization development consultant for over 25 years, specializing in leadership and team development with an emphasis on communications effectiveness. In all her practice areas, she works at diagnosing system-wide contributing factors and providing responsive solutions. She is licensed as a Psychologist in the State of Texas, a graduate of Hamline University and has a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Rice University. She is certified in the System for Analyzing Verbal Interactions (SAVI) and has been studying the method of Functional Subgrouping through the Systems-Centered Training & Research Institute for 10 years. She actively uses Functional Subgrouping and SAVI with clients in her role as coach and consultant.

Allan J. Rubin, BS, MBA. Allan Rubin, BS, MBA, has been an organizational consultant for the past 28 years. He spent 12 years as an external consultant with an emphasis on continuous improvement and change management for client companies in the U.S., Asia, and South America. Allan has worked the past 15 years as an internal OD consultant focusing on analyzing and diagnosing business systems and designing and executing interventions that maximize individual and team performance.


15 | Centering Revisited: Building Resources Through Centering to Contain Energy and Remain Connected at the Edge of Acting Out

Trainer(s): Merete Holm Brantbjerg , MPF ; Rick Campa, Ph.D.

Getting to the edge of acting out - or over the edge - is normal. It happens to all of us when we lose our center and our arousal level exceeds our containment capacity. In this workshop, we will explore the core elements of centering and the relationship between these elements and the capacity to remain connected and resourced when our nervous system is hyper- or hypo-aroused.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Experiential, didactic
Day(s): Wednesday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Name three core elements of centering
  • Differentiate between hyper- and hypo-arousal states
  • Describe specific centering techniques to regulate each of these states
  • Describe a technique to identify energy that has gone missing and techniques to restore energy in our muscles and connective tissue to bring balance and safety back into our autonomic nervous system
  • Describe the concept of “dosing” and its relationship to our capacity to explore

Presentation Content

Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory postulates that the need to connect with others is a primary biological imperative for humans. His research shows that when the calming influence of the parasympathetic response and the arousal/alerting influence of the sympathetic response is in balance, the social engagement system is activated and humans naturally move towards connection to establish safety and develop. This state of autonomic nervous system balance is established whenever we center. In contrast, when we lose our center and our parasympathetic and sympathetic systems fall out of balance, our connection to the interpersonal world is diminished and we retreat to our inner person survival systems to contain our energy and remain safe. States of hyperarousal – also called flight and fight, and hypoarousal – also called withdrawal or collapse, close the boundary to the social engagement system. In SCT terms, states of hyperarousal and hypoarousal move us into the inner-person survival system where the boundary to our inner-person curious observer, the exploratory drive, and the capacity to relate to others and novelty (inter-person system) is diminished and can close. Centering is a way to regulate arousal states and remain contained when our autonomic nervous systems fall out of balance and we move to the edge of acting out. Expanding our ability to center by including psychomotor skills for grounding and modifying tension and low energy supports containment as an alternative to acting out or in – and increases permeability and information flow among the inner-person survivor, curious observer, and inter-person systems. Modification of the low energy/hypo-response in muscles in the process of centering builds containment and psychomotor resources necessary for exploring increasingly powerful and complex experience.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Brantbjerg, M.H. (2017). About relational trauma-therapy. Retrieved from www.moaiku.com.

Brantbjerg, M.H. (2019). Widening the map of hypo-states: A metholodgy to modify muscular hypo-response and support regulation of autonomic nervous system arousal. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, An International Journal for Theory, Research and Practice, 15(1), 53-67.

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Levine, P. (2010). In an unspoken voice: How the body releases trauma and restores goodness. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Porges, S. (2011). The polyvagal theory. New York, NY: Norton.

Presenters

Merete Holm Brantbjerg, MPF. Merete Holm Brantbjerg, MPF, is a psychomotor-trainer and co-creator of a somatic psychotherapy tradition developed in Denmark over the past 30 years. Merete is naming her approach “Relational Trauma Therapy” - combining psychomotor skill training and systems oriented work with the goal of establishing systems in which mutual regulation of what has been held in dissociation can happen. She is offering trainings and workshops in Scandinavia, London and Tilburg.

Rick Campa, Ph.D.. Rick Campa, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist located in Austin, Texas, and a licensed SCT® practitioner and trainer. He studied clinical psychology at Boston University where he earned his doctorate in 1991. Rick moved to Austin, Texas, in 1991 and opened a private practice. He began formal training in SCT in 1998. He is currently a licensed SCT practitioner and offers therapy, training, and consultation in SCT theory, methods, and techniques locally and nationally.

Session 2, Thursday

Choose one


16 | Basics in SCT: Force Field Development and Application

Trainer(s): Alida Zweidler-McKay , MBA

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

The force field, as developed by Kurt Lewin, is a tool used in SCT for collecting information. It captures the system's explicit goals, the forces that are moving the system toward those goals (driving forces) and the forces that are getting in the way (restraining forces). Through this analysis, we are able to identify potential next steps to support system development. We can also infer the implicit goals of the system. Participants will learn how to construct a force field analysis, and then work together on examples to apply the learning.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential, practicum
Day(s): Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the force field structure
  • Construct a force field by identifying a goal, and driving and restraining forces to that goal
  • Use a force field to identify potential next steps that would support system movement toward a goal

Presentation Content

Force Fields were developed by Kurt Lewin in 1947, and have been applied in many therapeutic, research and organizational contexts since then. They are an important tool used in SCT to aid in collecting data about human systems, identifying driving and restraining forces toward a goal, the system's implicit goals and its phase of development. Force Fields have found applications in many other fields where they are used in a similar way. The articles below describe and demonstrate the value and application of Force Fields to SCT and other fields.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.A. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2003). Phases of group development: Systems-centered hypotheses and their implications for research and practice. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice, 7(3), 238-252. doi: 10.1037/1089-2699.7.3.238

Cripps, H.G.K. (2013). Art imitates life: Art and architecture as a driving force for change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 26(1), 49-63.

Curran, D. (2014). The role of mediation in the resolution of two industrial disputes in Ireland: Towards a theoretical understanding. Employee Relations: An International Journal, 36(5), 496-515.

Davis, R. (2014). Working across organisational boundaries: Shifting from complaining and blaming to problem-solving. e-O&P Journal of the Association for Management Education and Development, 21(3), 22-37.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2007). Phases of system development in organizational work groups: The systems-centered approach for intervening in context. Organisational & Social Dynamics, 7(2), 253-291.

Lewin, K. (1947). Frontiers in group dynamics: II. Channels of group life social planning and action research. Human Relations, 1(2), 143-153.

Shirey, M. (2013). Lewin’s theory of planned change as a strategic resource. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(2), 69–72.

Presenters

Alida Zweidler-McKay, MBA. Alida Zweidler-McKay, MBA, has been a consultant and coach since 1996. She works with senior executives and middle managers to develop their leadership skills through coaching, training and consulting projects. Alida is a certified SAVI trainer. She has participated in Systems-Centered Training since 2002 and is working toward becoming a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. She has a BA from Swarthmore College and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


17 | Basics in SCT: Phases of System Development

Trainer(s): Susan P. Gantt , Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA

This group introduces participants to the basic elements of SCT theory, skills and practice.

SCT work is always in the context of the phases of system development. Each phase of development is operationally defined as a force field of driving and restraining forces. This enables identifying phase-specific interventions that weaken the restraining forces relevant to the phase. Aligning change strategies that link to the phase of development enables releasing the driving forces of the phase.

Category: Session 2
Track: Theory and Basics
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Presentation, discussion
Day(s): Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Explain the phases of system development defined by SCT
  • Describe at least one developmental challenge inherent in each phase
  • Describe and apply the hierarchy of defense modification weakening restraining forces relevant to the phases of system development

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice in Atlanta and Emerita faculty at Emory University School of Medicine, Psychiatry department, where she taught and coordinated group psychotherapy training for 29 years. She is the Chair of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, which was recognized with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. She trains, supervises and consults in the practice of SCT in the US and Europe and leads ongoing training groups for therapists and consultants in Atlanta, San Francisco and the Netherlands. She has published numerous journal articles and co-authored the texts Autobiography of a Theory, SCT in Action, and Systems-Centered Therapy: Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families & Groups with Yvonne Agazarian. She co-edited the book The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch in 2013. She was awarded the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy by the Group Psychotherapy Foundation for her work in editing (with Paul Cox) the special issue of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy on “Neurobiology and Interpersonal Systems: Groups, Couples and Beyond.”


18 | Using SCT to Find the Academy Award® Winner Inside You

Trainer(s): Richard O’Neill , Ph.D., FAClinP, CGP, ABPP

Rich O'Neill will discuss how he uses SCT methods to center himself, undo his own anxiety, and partner with the co-producer on his television show. He will illustrate with video samples from the show. Members will use SCT methods to modify personal and team constraints to their own creativity as they prepare a creative project of their choosing.

Category: Session 2
Track: General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, group practicum, experiential
Day(s): Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the skill of functional subgrouping to partner with my team creatively
  • Apply the skill of centering myself to prepare for a creative exploration and expression
  • Apply the skills of undoing anxiety to become curious and creative in the here-and-now in the face of uncertainty

Presentation Content

O’Neill and colleagues have shown that groups run with SCT methods are more collaborative, productive and creative, and have higher engagement, less avoidance, less conflict, better inter-member relationships, more overall learning and goal achievement, than groups using various other communication structures. Research specifically examining functional subgrouping has shown that group members find it a positive experience and that it relates to better morale over time, more overall learning and more goal achievement. See O’Neill et al (2013) research below for related references.

Academy Award® is a registered trademark of the A.M.P.A.S.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2), 171-195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

O’Neill, R.M., Murphy, V., Mogle, J., MacKenzie, M.J., MacGregor, K.L., Pearson, M., & Parekh, M. (2013). Are systems-centered teams more collaborative, productive and creative? Journal of Team Performance Management, 19(3/4), 201-221. doi: 10.1108/TPM-04-2012-0015

Presenters

Richard O’Neill, Ph.D., FAClinP, CGP, ABPP. Rich O'Neill, Ph.D., FAClinP, CGP, ABPP, received an Academy Award® (Student Documentary Category-1976) for a film about a music school that inspired disadvantaged students to flourish. As a psychologist Rich is a Fellow of the American Board of Professional Psychology. As President of the New York State Psychological Association he successfully led NYSPA to ally with a national labor union and thus land the profession on the front page of the New York Times (10.19.99). He has presented in the media since 1985 including 10 years with his "Checkup from the Neckup" radio and YouTube spots, 5 years with his "Healthy Decisions" weekly TV segment, and 11 seasons with the PBS affiliated TV show he launched, hosts and co-produces--"Cycle of Health" (wcny.org/cycleofhealth). He consults now with individuals, partners, and groups on achieving greater health, happiness, and success.


19 | Explore the Combination of SCT and Holacracy®

Trainer(s): Peter Kunneman , . ; Diederick Janse, MSc

In this workshop we will explore how the combination of SCT and Holacracy, a model of self organization, gives an organization the governance structure and the culture to unlock talent, initiative and energy to serve its purpose. Holacracy distributes authority and decision-making throughout an organization, and defines people not by hierarchy and titles, but by roles. The workshop draws from actual client experiences.

Category: Session 2
Track: Organizational|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the differences between centralized, delegated and distributed authority in organizations
  • Describe how Holacracy functions as a formalized operationalization of the SCT Role-Goal-Context model in organizations
  • State three ways Holacracy is different from a traditional management hierarchy in taking up authority and supporting authority of others

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis. The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Brian Robertson's Holacracy Management System is emerging as the most successful and elaborate self organization structure in Organization Development. Its well defined structure of Purpose, Circle and Role (for organisations) reads like a detailed operationalisation of SCT's Role-Goal=Context model.

Holacracy® is a registered trademark of HolacracyOne LLC.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (Eds.) (2005). SCT in action: Applying the systems-centered approach in organizations. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. Reprint (2006). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Laloux, F. (2014). Reinventing organizations. Brussels, Belgium: Nelson Parker.

Robertson, B.J. (2015). Holacracy: The new management system for a rapidly changing world. New York, NY: Henry Holt.

Sundlin, A.L., & Sundlin, P. (2014). Taking up your role: How to shift between life and work without losing yourself. Cambridge, MA: Catalyst Communications Press.

Wheelan, S. (2009). Creating effective teams: A guide for members and leaders (3rd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Presenters

Peter Kunneman, .. Peter Kunneman has 30 years’ experience in managing teams to deliver value to clients. Clients work with him in partnership and can rely on result focus, solid stakeholder management and strong team performance. Peter uses Systems-Centered methods and tools, which make teams perform better and work together more creatively. People in his teams develop a deeper understanding of the roles that they need to fulfill in order to reach the goals that are required in the context. Peter brings integrity, commitment and humor to his work. He is a licensed SCT Practitioner.

Diederick Janse, MSc. Diederick Janse helps organizations self-organize around purpose, so people can bring all of themselves to work in a way that is deeply meaningful. To that end he has specialized in the Holacracy framework for mature self-organization. Over the past 10 years he has helped dozens of organizations (public and private, small, medium-sized and large) adopt Holacracy. Diederick graduated in International Business Studies in 2006 and went on to co-found Realize! (2006), Waking Up the Workplace (2010), and Energized.org (2015). Together with Marco Bogers he is the author of Getting Teams Done (2013), which readers tell us offers an accessible introduction into Holacracy and teaming around purpose. In 2016 he discovered Systems-Centered Training and dove in head-first. Having experienced the effects of systematic SCT-based team development at Energized.org, he is now on fire about the power of Holacracy and SCT combined. Diederick is 39 years old and lives in Utrecht with his wife and two daughters.


20 | A Veteran Surf Alliance Built on SCT Theory - Just Add Water!

Trainer(s): John Straznickas , MD

This workshop will 1) describe how SCT theory informs and guides the building of a fun surf community of veterans and civilians and 2) explore applications for the participants' own contexts. When veterans return from foreign wars, boundaries close to the differences between the warrior and the civilian experiences. We will focus on the surfer role and the resulting veteran surfing community as it bridges the isolating differences between these two communities.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 1.5
Format: Didactic, experiential, discussion
Day(s): Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe how SCT theory is useful when building novel communities that integrate differences
  • Name at least two unique challenges of integrating the Warrior/Veteran and Civilian roles
  • Name at least two ways the surfer role can help bridge the differences between the Warrior/Veteran and Civilian roles

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses. This presentation will show the flexibility and utility of many of the core concepts and methods of this theory when building an innovative surf community. This information and process can be generalizable for the participants in building other innovative and integrative communities.

Supporting References

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2007). Phases of system development in organizational work groups: The systems-centered approach for intervening in context. Organisational & Social Dynamics, 7(2), 253-291.

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

James, A. (2017). Surfing with Satre - An aquatic inquiry into a life of meaning. New York, NY: Anchor Books.

Nichols, W.J. (2014) Blue mind. Boston, MA: Back Bay Books, Little, Brown.

Yogis, J. (2009). Saltwater Buddha: A surfer's quest to find zen on the sea. Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications.

Presenters

John Straznickas, MD. John Straznickas, MD, has worked for over 25 years with veterans at the San Francisco VAMC. He trained for many years in the TLHS and SCT Practice in San Francisco and in Philadelphia. He has presented at numerous SCT and other conferences. He is a teacher and educator in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF. He is now an enthusiastic surfer and is a volunteer mental health staffer for the non-profit organization "Operation Surf" which helps honor and heal our nations veterans "one wave at a time."


Sessions 1 & 2, Monday – Friday

Choose one


301-IC | Intermediate Skills Training

Trainer(s): Susan Beren , Ph.D. ; Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, SFHEA

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1

This is a continuation of the 7-day training beginning in the Institute. Members continue to practice applying the SCT protocols related to the Hierarchy of Defense Modification. Each day will cover a theory component, recorded practice sessions, and a force field review of the recordings.

By application to assess your readiness for this training (see link below). Send application to both Susan Beren and Madeline O'Carroll

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 31, 2021

Note: One of the leaders of your training group (or, if in unusual circumstances, you are not part of a training group, a system mentor) should be consulted as to your readiness for this training. This is the first of the core Intermediate SCT trainings.

Category: Sessions 1 & 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|Education
Level: Intermediate Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Didactic, small group skills practice, recorded role plays & force field reviews
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate ability to introduce functional subgrouping to a group
  • Demonstrate ability to use SCT protocols for undoing distractions, anxiety, tension, depression, outrages, and role locks
  • Apply a basic understanding of the theoretical context for the use of SCT protocols
  • Prepare a force field to analyze what helps or hinders the application of protocols
  • Demonstrate ability to provide feedback based on facts, not opinions
  • Demonstrate ability to lead a small task group

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice.

This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107. doi: 10.1177/104649649903000105

Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9

Agazarian, Y.M., & Byram, C. (2009). First build the system: The systems-centered approach to combined psychotherapy. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 33(2), 129-148.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2003). Phases of group development: Systems-centered hypotheses and their implications for research and practice. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice, 7(3), 238-252. doi: 10.1037/1089-2699.7.3.238

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts: Putting SCT to work. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67( sup 1), S60-S70 doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Presenters

Susan Beren, Ph.D.. Susan Beren, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked in multiple city hospitals and been in private practice in New York City for the last 22 years, doing therapy with individuals, couples and groups and providing supervision and consultation. Susan has taught, done research on and co-authored several papers on the multiple causes and treatment of eating disorders and obesity. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Training Practitioner.

Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, RMN, SFHEA. Madeline O'Carroll, MSc, is a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner who has worked in mental health for thirty years as an educator and clinician. Madeline has extensive experience of developing and delivering educational and training programmes. She has led therapy groups for people with psychosis, groups to support mental health nursing students process the impact of their work and SCT training groups in UK and USA. Madeline is a Senior Lecturer at City, University of London and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


304-C | Intermediate 3-Year Training Group

Trainer(s): Heather Twomey , Ph.D. ; Robert Hartford, LICSW

Group meets Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1

This intermediate level training combines experiential work, focusing on crossing the boundary from person to member system, with in-depth theory and force field work on the phases of system development (diagnosis, dynamics, driving and restraining forces). This 3-year course is open to be repeated as long as members find it meets their goals. Membership requires a commitment to attend all three yearly sessions in any one cycle. SCT Conference 2018 began the current cycle of this 3-year group. The group is now closed to new members. Due to the cancellation of our expected 3rd and final year in 2020, a new cycle will now open in 2022 to all intermediate level attendees.

Development of a force field is due prior to each conference meeting. Details to be sent in early to mid-January.

Questions: Contact Heather Twomey or Robert Hartford

Note: Participation in intermediate level training requires actively receiving consultation from an SCT Licensed Practitioner.

Category: Sessions 1 & 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational
Level: Intermediate Level
CE credits: 16.0
Format: Experiential, force field review, discussion (on video conferencing platform)
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate (with data) the ability to discriminate when a behavior is driving/restraining toward subgroup and group-as-a-whole goals
  • List in descriptive terms behaviors that are outputs of either person system versus member system roles
  • Practice containing person system experience to bring into inter-person relationship as potential resource for group development
  • Apply SCT methods and techniques to reduce restraining forces in group development
  • Use observational skills to identify driving and restraining forces for a force field evaluation of the experiential work
  • Assess group implicit goals and phase of development from force field data

Presentation Content

The systems-centered approach to group and organizational work has been in the field for over 20 years, presented in approximately 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Its methods incorporate techniques linked to successful strategies for improvement in group and individual psychotherapy, for example, modifying cognitive distortions, increasing group cohesion, lowering scapegoating, and reducing somatic defenses.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy. London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2005). The systems perspective. In S. Wheelan (Ed.), Handbook of group research and practice (pp. 187-200). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Bennis, W.G., & Shepard, H.A. (1956). A theory of group development. Human Relations, 9(4), 415-437.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2008). Group development in practice: Guidance for clinicians and researchers on stages and dynamics of change. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P. (2013). Applying systems-centered theory (SCT) and methods in organizational contexts. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 63(2), 234-258. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2013.63.2.234

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2007). Phases of system development in organizational work groups: The systems-centered approach for intervening in context. Organisational & Social Dynamics, 7(2), 253-291.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, (60)4, pp. 514-545. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2010.60.4.515

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O’Neill, R.M., & Mogle, J. (2015). Systems-centered functional subgrouping and large group outcome. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 39(4), 303-317

Presenters

Heather Twomey, Ph.D.. Heather B. Twomey, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist who has trained in Systems-Centered Therapy (SCT) steadily since 1996. She is currently a licensed SCT Practitioner who leads and co-leads in various SCT training contexts including conferences, workshops, and training groups. Additionally, she practices as an SCT Licensed Practitioner in private practice where she conducts group, individual, and couples therapy.

Robert Hartford, LICSW. Robert Hartford, LICSW, is a licensed psychotherapist in Washington, DC, California and New York and an Executive and Organizational Development Coach. He is a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner, ICEEFT Certified Therapist, and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator (CDFW). In 2001, he founded Solutions & Results, in Washington, DC, an independent therapy center focusing on emotional development and transformation. Robert received his post-master's training at the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, and trained at San Francisco General Hospital, Psychiatric Department and Kaiser Department of Psychiatry.


401-IC | Authority Issue Group

Trainer(s): Susan P. Gantt , Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA ; Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1

This training is an ongoing event that confronts the hatred of authority, one’s own and others’. Alternating between training group practicum and review work, the program will focus on applying the Theory of Living Human Systems in exploring the issues of giving and taking authority. This training is by application only for SCTRI members who are committed to becoming a licensed SCT practitioner, who have completed all prerequisite intermediate training, and meet the criteria for group membership (see SCT Training Curriculum for details). Joining this group means committing to twice yearly meetings for the duration of the group.

This is a closed group.

Note: Participation in intermediate level training requires actively receiving consultation from an SCT Licensed Practitioner.

Category: Sessions 1 & 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Education
Level: Intermediate Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Demonstrate ability to shift from person to member in a developing group in each of its phases of system development
  • Utilize leadership and membership roles working in the context of a peer task-focused group
  • Apply SCT methods to weaken the restraining forces in shifting from person to member
  • Describe the concept of the hatred of authority
  • Explain the role relationships with external authority and one’s internal authority
  • Practice working in membership with leadership towards the goal of increasing awareness of the driving and restraining forces related to leadership effectiveness, both internal in relationship to the personality style, task/maintenance dimensions, and the effect of leadership behaviors on the group's membership, subgroups and the group-as-a-whole

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that function as hypotheses to test both the validity of the theory and the reliability of its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Re-printed in paperback (2004). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., Gantt, S.P., & Carter, F. (Eds.) (2021). Systems-centered training: An illustrated guide for applying a theory of living human systems. London, UK: Routledge.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2008). Group development in practice: Guidance for clinicians and researchers on stages and dynamics of change. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Functional subgrouping and the systems-centered approach to group therapy. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Moreno, J.K. (2007). Scapegoating in group psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 57(1), 93-104.

Presenters

Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice in Atlanta and Emerita faculty at Emory University School of Medicine, Psychiatry department, where she taught and coordinated group psychotherapy training for 29 years. She is the Chair of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, which was recognized with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. She trains, supervises and consults in the practice of SCT in the US and Europe and leads ongoing training groups for therapists and consultants in Atlanta, San Francisco and the Netherlands. She has published numerous journal articles and co-authored the texts Autobiography of a Theory, SCT in Action, and Systems-Centered Therapy: Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families & Groups with Yvonne Agazarian. She co-edited the book The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch in 2013. She was awarded the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy by the Group Psychotherapy Foundation for her work in editing (with Paul Cox) the special issue of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy on “Neurobiology and Interpersonal Systems: Groups, Couples and Beyond.”

Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, Member of Institute of Group Analysis, Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. He qualified in medicine in 1982, trained in Psychiatry then in Psychotherapy in Leeds (UK). He has wide experience of leading SCT training groups and workshops in UK, Europe and the USA. He has practiced as a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the UK for over 20 years and has also had a number of management roles in the NHS, including service development and implementation of training programs for psychiatry trainees. He taught psychotherapy based on SCT to junior psychiatrists and psychotherapy trainees for over 20 years. Clinically he uses SCT in individual and group therapy and has developed a manual to support this work. He uses the Theory of Living Human Systems in day-to-day organizational work, consultation and leadership.


502-IC | Advanced Training for Trainers and Leaders: Tracking Group Development

Trainer(s): Dorothy Gibbons , MSS, LCSW, CGP ; Juliet Koprowska, MSW

7-day group, meets on Institute weekend and continues Mon - Thu Sessions 1 &2, Fri Session 1

This training observes the Authority Issue Group to track group dynamics, phase of system development, communication patterns that support the phase, leadership interventions linking interventions to theory and group functioning. Goal: To learn through observation to collect data about the impact of leader interventions in each phase of development and, through experience, to collect data about system isomorphy.

Prerequisite: Completion of the Authority Issue Group

This is a closed group.

Category: Sessions 1 & 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Education|General Interest
Level: Advanced Level
CE credits: 25.5
Format: Observation, didactic, experiential, group practicum
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Analyze the leaders' SCT interventions and relate them to driving and restraining forces in the phases of system development
  • Identify a predictable hierarchy of defense modification
  • Describe observations and apply experience to a Theory of Living Human Systems and systems-centered practice
  • Compare isomorphy between group being observed and observing group
  • Assess effectiveness of functional subgrouping in advanced training group (Authority Issue Group)
  • Demonstrate development of advanced training skills in the training group context

Presentation Content

Learning methods: Systems-centered practice and training was developed by Yvonne Agazarian over a number of decades. This training is offered from foundation level to licensing and more recently the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute (SCTRI) has pioneered advanced training for trainers and leaders, a training group for advanced practitioners who who wish to enhance their skills as trainers. This training is a twice yearly training observing the training and development of the Authority Issue Group (AIG). SCTRI was presented with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. The training consists of observation of the AIG training group led by Susan Gantt and Ray Haddock. Discussion and exploration, using the observations to provide data for tracking group dynamics, phase of system development, communication patterns that support the phase, leadership interventions to member, subgroup and group-as-a-whole, while linking interventions to theory and group functioning. Skills practice: using the group to practice and build on skills of giving and taking authority in training roles.

Supporting References

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2009). Group development in practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P. (2011). Systems-centered approach to groups. In J. Kleinberg (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group psychotherapy (pp. 113-138). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2010). Developing the group mind through functional subgrouping: Linking systems-centered training (SCT) and interpersonal neurobiology. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60(4), 515-544. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2010.60.4.515

Gantt, S.P., & Badenoch, B. (Eds.) (2013). The interpersonal neurobiology of group psychotherapy and group process. London, UK: Karnac Books.

O'Neill, R.M., Smyth, J.M., & MacKenzie, M.J. (2011). Systems-centered functional subgrouping links the member to the group dynamics and goals: How-to and a pilot study. GROUP: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, 35(2), 105-121.

O’Neill, R.M., Constantino, M.J., & Mogle, J. (2012). Does Agazarian’s systems-centered functional subgrouping improve mood, learning and goal achievement?: A study in large groups. Group Analysis, 45, 375-390. doi: 10.1177/0533316412448287

Presenters

Dorothy Gibbons, MSS, LCSW, CGP. Dorothy Gibbons, MSS, LCSW, CGP is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. She is in private practice in Philadelphia, PA. She works with individuals, groups, and couples. She also works as an organizational consultant to a social service agency in Philadelphia. Ms. Gibbons is the former Director of the Adolescent Sex Offender Unit at the Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia and has extensive experience working with both victims and offenders of sexual abuse. She is on the Board of Directors of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute. She is also a graduate of the Gestalt Therapy Training.

Juliet Koprowska, MSW. Juliet Koprowska, MSW, Diploma in Counselling, has extensive experience of systems-centered training at an advanced level, most recently as a member of the group observing the last Authority Issue/Licensing Group. She is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of York where her main roles are teaching qualifying and registered social workers. Her main areas of expertise are communication, family work, group work, and field education. She researches communication in social work practice and is author of "Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work" (4th edition). London: Sage Learning Matters, a book widely used on social work programmes in the UK. She organises the annual SCT event held in York, England.

Session 2, Friday


21 | Applying SCT Theory and Methods in Working with Trauma

Trainer(s): Susan P. Gantt , Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA ; Marianne Bentzen, Psychotherapist ; Phyllis Goltra, Ph.D. ; Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych ; Mike Maher, MA, PGCE

This workshop is 2 hours

SCT defines trauma theoretically as significant limitation in the functioning of a system’s capacity to regulate boundaries in time, space and reality whether in the inner-person, inter-person or whole-person systems, or even in a larger whole system. Using this theoretical definition and our person-as-a-system map to guide us, we will explore the different SCT methods that are especially relevant in working with trauma. We will also look at how SCT practice is always impacting trauma states in everyday life at all system levels whether or not trauma is an explicit focus.

Category: Session 2
Track: Clinical|Organizational|Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 2.0
Format: Didactic, experiential
Day(s): Friday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Apply the SCT theoretical definition of trauma and discriminate it from the stereotyped definitions of trauma
  • Describe how SCT methods are used to contain and work with and through trauma
  • Discuss system output signals for trauma, the originating role-system and its functioning
  • Describe ways in which the SCT methods have been adapted in work when the context is trauma
  • Explain how SCT interventions work with and impact trauma states whatever the context

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1997). Systems-centered therapy for groups. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Badenoch, B. (2017). The heart of trauma: Healing the embodied brain in the context of relationships (Norton series on interpersonal neurobiology). New York, NY: Norton.

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered’s functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today’s Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue], 38(4), 270-284. doi: 10.1080/07351690.2018.1444851

Gantt, S.P., & Hopper, E. (2012). Two perspectives on a trauma in a training group: The systems-centered approach and the theory of incohesion. In E. Hopper (Ed.), Trauma and organizations (pp. 233-254). London, UK: Karnac Books.

Hopper, E., & Weinberg, H. (Eds.) (2012). The social unconscious in persons, groups, and societies: Volume 1: Mainly theory. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Presenters

Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., CGP, ABPP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice in Atlanta and Emerita faculty at Emory University School of Medicine, Psychiatry department, where she taught and coordinated group psychotherapy training for 29 years. She is the Chair of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, which was recognized with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. She trains, supervises and consults in the practice of SCT in the US and Europe and leads ongoing training groups for therapists and consultants in Atlanta, San Francisco and the Netherlands. She has published numerous journal articles and co-authored the texts Autobiography of a Theory, SCT in Action, and Systems-Centered Therapy: Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families & Groups with Yvonne Agazarian. She co-edited the book The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch in 2013. She was awarded the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy by the Group Psychotherapy Foundation for her work in editing (with Paul Cox) the special issue of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy on “Neurobiology and Interpersonal Systems: Groups, Couples and Beyond.”

Marianne Bentzen, Psychotherapist. Marianne Bentzen has worked internationally as a psychotherapist and psychotherapy trainer for more than 35 years. Since 1998 she has been mapping and applying Neuroaffective Developmental Psychology (NADP) with her friend and colleague, Susan Hart, Ph.D. She has written three books and contributed chapters to many more. Her professional perspective includes psychomotor development, developmental neuropsychology, trauma theory, evolutionary psychology, 12+ years of SCT and an intermediate-level understanding of it, and 25+ years of meditation with the Danish spiritual teacher Jes Bertelsen, Ph.D.

Phyllis Goltra, Ph.D.. Phyllis H. Goltra, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice specializing in dissociative disorders, pain management, mind/body integration, problem solving, and assessment and evaluation of psychological impairment. Specialties include Certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Recovery (EMDR); Applied psychophysiology and neurofeedback (Lens comuper based treatment); past certification in Biofeedback; Certified Consultant in Hypnosis, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis; PA Licensed Psychologist.

Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, is a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a Member of the Institute of Group Analysis. He is also a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board of Directors, and the Board of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy. He qualified in medicine in 1982, trained in Psychiatry then in Psychotherapy in Leeds (UK). He has wide experience of leading SCT training groups and workshops in UK and internationally. He practised as a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the UK for over 25 years and has had a number of NHS management roles, including whole system service development and implementation of training programs. He taught psychotherapy based on SCT to junior psychiatrists and psychotherapy trainees for over 20 years. Clinically he uses SCT in individual and group therapy and has developed a manual to support this work. He uses the Theory of Living Human Systems in day-to-day organisational work, consultation, mentoring and leadership development.

Mike Maher, MA, PGCE. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, is a Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a Member of the Institute of Group Analysis. He is also a member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute Board of Directors, and the Board of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy. He qualified in medicine in 1982, trained in Psychiatry then in Psychotherapy in Leeds (UK). He has wide experience of leading SCT training groups and workshops in UK and internationally. He practised as a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the UK for over 25 years and has had a number of NHS management roles, including whole system service development and implementation of training programs. He taught psychotherapy based on SCT to junior psychiatrists and psychotherapy trainees for over 20 years. Clinically he uses SCT in individual and group therapy and has developed a manual to support this work. He uses the Theory of Living Human Systems in day-to-day organisational work, consultation, mentoring and leadership development.

Session 3, Monday – Thursday


Large Group

Trainer(s): Claudia Byram , Ph.D., CGP ; Fran Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP ; Susan Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA ; Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych

This group meets Mon-Thu

This 60-minute conference-as-a-whole practicum meets at the end of the day on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to explore the conference experience using functional subgrouping.

These four Large Group meetings are open to the entire conference community and demonstrate the application of SCT methods and techniques in the large group setting. The dynamics and potential of large group are crucial to our understanding of social forces at a different level from the more easily accessible family and small group setting. These forces are more similar to those operating in larger social systems, and therefore our understanding of how to relate to these larger contexts is an essential skill for social work and other social change advocates and professionals.

Note: You must attend all four days of Large Group in order to earn CE credits for Large Group.

Category: Session 3
Track: Theory and Basics|General Interest
Level: Open to All Levels
CE credits: 4.0
Format: Experiential
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Learning Objectives

Based on attending this event, I know, or am able to:
  • Describe the unique challenge of relating to the Large Group context
  • Apply skills in relating to the Large Group context in a way that increases the potential to include (rather than exclude) diversities
  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of the unique challenge of relating to the Large Group context
  • Practice using functional subgrouping to recognize and integrate differences instead of ignoring or scapegoating them
  • Describe one driving and one restraining force to large group functioning that I observed

Presentation Content

Agazarian’s (1997) theory of living human systems, with its systems-centered approach to group practice, represents a developed and comprehensive systems theory applied to groups, individuals and couples. The theory of living human systems has defined theoretical constructs and operational definitions that implement and test the theoretical hypotheses in its practice. This theory and its methods are accepted among group practitioners as evidenced by SCTRI’s 2010 recognition for “Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy” awarded by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. SCT methods are regularly cited or included in handbooks and reviews of group psychotherapy practice. There is also significant peer-reviewed published support for the theory and its practice, including articles in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Group Dynamics, Small Group Research, Organizational Analysis, and Group Analysis.

Supporting References

Agazarian, Y.M. (1994). The phases of development and the systems-centered group. In M. Pines, & V. Schermer (Eds.), Ring of fire: Primitive object relations and affect in group psychotherapy (pp. 36-85). London, UK: Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Agazarian, Y.M. (1999). Phases of development in the systems-centered group. Small Group Research, 30(1), 82-107. doi: 10.1177/104649649903000105

Agazarian, Y.M. (2012). Systems-centered group psychotherapy: Putting theory into practice. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 62(2) 171–195. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2012.62.2.171

Agazarian, Y.M. (2018). The nuts and bolts of systems-centered practice. Systems-Centered News, 26(1), 5-9.

Agazarian, Y.M., & Gantt, S.P. (2005). The systems perspective. In S. Wheelan (Ed.), Handbook of group research and practice (pp. 187-200). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Armington, R. (2012). Exploring the convergence of systems-centered therapy’s functional subgrouping and the principles of interpersonal neurobiology. Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, 1, 51-55.

Brabender, V., & Fallon, A. (2009). Group development in practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gantt, S.P. (2018). Developing groups that change our minds and transform our brains: Systems-centered’s functional subgrouping, its impact on our neurobiology, and its role in each phase of group development. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Today’s Bridge Between Psychoanalysis and the Group World [Special Issue]. 38(4), 270-284.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2011). Highlights from ten years of a systems-centered large group: Work in progress. Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy, 47(1), 40-50.

Gantt, S.P., & Agazarian, Y.M. (2017). Systems-centered group therapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S60-S70. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1218768

Whitcomb, K.E., O’Neill, R.M., Burlingame, G.M., Mogle, J., Gantt, S.P., Cannon, J.A.N., & Roney, T. (2018). Measuring how systems-centered® members connect with group dynamics: FSQ-2 construct validity. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 68(2), 163-183. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2017.1381024

Presenters

Claudia Byram, Ph.D., CGP. Claudia Byram, Ph.D., CGP, is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner with a clinical practice in Philadelphia. She leads Systems-Centered training events, as well as communications training and consultation in the SAVI (System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction) model. She has worked since 1980 as a clinician and trainer, with a doctorate in developmental and clinical psychology from Bryn Mawr College. She began work with Yvonne Agazarian in the early 80s, shifting from psychoanalytic practice toward systems as systems-centered therapy developed.

Fran Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP. Frances Carter, MSS, LSW, CGP, is a Licensed Social Worker, living and working in the Philadelphia area. She maintains a clinical and consulting practice working with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Fran is a founding member of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, and a Board Member and System Mentor. She continues to be interested in the development of training, curriculum and research and has contributed her time to these work groups within SCTRI. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She is also a principle in SAVI Communications and the SAVI Network where she works with others to develop training in the SAVI approach to communication. She brings to all her work the energy and creativity of her early background as an artist.

Susan Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP, CGP, DFAGPA, FAPA, is a psychologist in private practice in Atlanta and Emerita faculty at Emory University School of Medicine, Psychiatry department, where she taught and coordinated group psychotherapy training for 29 years. She is the Chair of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, which was recognized with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education and Training in the Field of Group Psychotherapy by the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. She trains, supervises and consults in the practice of SCT in the US and Europe and leads ongoing training groups for therapists and consultants in Atlanta, San Francisco and the Netherlands. She has published numerous journal articles and co-authored the texts Autobiography of a Theory, SCT in Action, and Systems-Centered Therapy: Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families & Groups with Yvonne Agazarian. She co-edited the book The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process with Bonnie Badenoch in 2013. She was awarded the 2011 Alonso Award for Excellence in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy by the Group Psychotherapy Foundation for her work in editing (with Paul Cox) the special issue of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy on “Neurobiology and Interpersonal Systems: Groups, Couples and Beyond.”

Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych. Ray Haddock, MBChB, M.MedSc, FRCPsych, Member of Institute of Group Analysis, Licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. He qualified in medicine in 1982, trained in Psychiatry then in Psychotherapy in Leeds (UK). He has wide experience of leading SCT training groups and workshops in UK, Europe and the USA. He has practiced as a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the UK for over 20 years and has also had a number of management roles in the NHS, including service development and implementation of training programs for psychiatry trainees. He taught psychotherapy based on SCT to junior psychiatrists and psychotherapy trainees for over 20 years. Clinically he uses SCT in individual and group therapy and has developed a manual to support this work. He uses the Theory of Living Human Systems in day-to-day organizational work, consultation and leadership.